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I am a neolibertarian minded individual who feels that freedom and individual rights take precedence over the wants of government. I believe government exists to serve the people and not to protect us from ourselves. I am an advocate for private firearms ownership, smaller government, reduced taxes and freedom to live your life however you choose, providing you do not directly hurt others.

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A Feast For Crows
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Thursday, March 03, 2005

U.S. Supreme Court Betrays Nation

What do you do when the highest court in the land charged with the duty of upholding and defending the constitution betrays that trust? This week, in Roper v. Simmons, the United States Supreme Court has done just that. In a 5 v. 4 ruling, the court declared that it is a violation of the "cruel and unusual punishment" clause of the Eighth Amendment to carry out the death penalty on anyone convicted before the age of 18. This means that 70 people convicted and sentenced to death can no longer be executed because they were under 18 years of age when they were convicted. Sadly, this is not the worst part about this decision.

What is horrifying about this decision is that Justice Anthony Kennedy felt that "evolving standards of decency", "a national consensus" and "international opinion" made this decision necessary. 19 of our states allow the death penalty for minors yet he says there is a "
consensus" against this! And why the hell does it matter what other countries think when we evaluate the validity of our own domestic laws? Here's a CNN quote from Justice Kennedy:
"It is proper that we acknowledge the overwhelming weight of international opinion against the juvenile death penalty"
This precedent is frightening, and even those who are against the death penalty should be enraged that these pathetic reasons were given for overturning the laws and sentences of 19 U.S. states and a previous Supreme Court ruling. Frankly, if we must model our laws after international opinion, neither our constitution nor our bill of rights would be allowed to exist. France has outlawed religious garb in their schools. China still harasses and punishes churchgoers and priests. Are these valid grounds to challenge the freedom of religion we have always thought was protected by the First Amendment? Should our "Freedom Of Speech" be challenged because of the opinions of Iran, Syria and China? If Kennedy must consult his "WWED: What Would Europe Do?" bracelet before weighing matters of constitutionality and domestic law, he has no business being a Supreme Court Justice.

Justice Kennedy was quoted by CNN as saying:
"When a juvenile commits a heinous crime, the State can exact forfeiture of some of the most basic liberties, but the State cannot extinguish his life and his potential to attain a mature understanding of his own humanity."

You might be interested in knowing something about the criminal that escalated this issue to the supreme court prior to deciding if you agree with Justice Kennedy's statement. Personally I think the murdering dirtball had already attained a full understanding of his own humanity, or lack thereof. According to various articles, 17 year old Simmons and an accomplice burglarized Shirley Crook's home. When Simmons found her in the home, he bound and gagged her, drove her to a railroad bridge and threw her off of it to her death. Simmons later bragged that he could get away with it because of his age. Thanks to Kennedy and his henchmen, it looks like Simmons was right.

Justice Antonin Scalia, one of the four Justices who was against overturning the death penalty laws lashed out against this decision and was quoted by CNN as writing that this was "no way to run a legal system" and:

"The court says in so many words that what our people's laws say about the issue does not, in the last analysis, matter"

"The court thus proclaims itself sole arbiter of our nation's moral standards"

Thank you Justice Scalia.



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